Indie Ink Challenge Sep 3 - Sep 9 2011
Prompt: I'm not actually married. I'm not actually anything.
It was hardly 6.30 in the evening, the time when Evelyn usually popped by the store. But it was a hot day, the sort of day where humidity hangs in the air like a velvet cloak of inconvenience, wrapping everything in its sight tightly, forcing each poor passerby to fight its way through the street, a seasonal rage against climatic resistance.
It was at this time Evelyn decided to do something different, as she sometimes did on a Wednesday. She thought it was the best day for difference. Every day was good for change, but Wednesday in particular had a certain midweek skepticism about it that just about demanded something new.
She ruffled her hair and pulled her t-shirt down, leaving it to show just enough but not too much. Subtlety was key in this grand masquerade she had in mind.
Joe was at work and the kids were at school, so it was the perfect time for an afternoon adventure. She checked her reflection before leaving the apartment and strode confidently forward, her journey only briefly interrupted by a deep crack in the pavement. She wasn't the sort of girl who ever wore heels, so that wasn't really anything to worry about.
The wind, barely there and now exaggerated in her mind with its only occasional presence, spurred her on. It wasn't often that things went her way, and now it was clear; today would be the day.
Joe had been distant for a while and she needed the attention a woman needs. Surely every woman does, she thought, her skirt dancing about her knees with a wind that, as we have learnt, wasn't really there.
She'd put some lipstick on, which was rare, and she hoped he'd notice, the young man at the store. He could at least pay her a compliment first. By now, she knew, that no one would be at the store at this time, save for the occasional school kid on their way home, or a stranger to their little village who really had no right to be there in the first place.
This is my town, Eve thought to herself, and as her pace quickened she checked in her bag, for the fourth time - she preferred even numbers - that she had brought the necessary equipment. Protection was vital for a woman of her status especially.
It would be soon.
She entered the store, appreciating herself in the reflection briefly as she did so. An only slightly sexy skirt to show off, cute tee for herself. The bell rang, reminding her instantly of her childhood and midnight escapades to 7-Eleven for an ice cream, or a bar of Crunch, her then-chocolate of choice.
There had been a Crunch commercial, she remembered, with a charmingly skinny young man whose pants fell off every time he took a bite. She vaguely recalled lots of girls and lipstick kisses, too.
She'd laid down the rules since those young years, that she was only allowed to take her first bite when that ad was on. The ad had stopped running for years, and she still had a bar at home, waiting for the day that would never come; she hadn't been able to enjoy that magical chocolate that was her favourite ever since. It was against the rules.
She stepped in. Check number 5. She was almost ready.
She had long since mastered the look of a woman who wanted something, and was going to get what she wanted. She'd tried it on Joe, but he never saw anything. He barely saw her at all. So, she never got what she wanted from him. Which wasn't really much at all, when you came to think about it. It almost killed her every time. But today would be different.
Jason was behind the counter, as he always was, probably texting the girlfriend that she rightfully assumed he had, partaking in an activity that she similarly assumed he wasn't supposed to be up to at work.
"How're you doing, Mrs. G?"
"I'm no Mrs," she growled, almost to herself.
"Your husband, he was in here earlier. Said he needed breakfast. You're not feeding your man, Mrs. G?"
He had some nerve, this kid; an irreverence that excited her.
Her face changed. He noticed.
"You alright Mrs G? You're all pale."
"I'm not actually married," she said pointedly.
His reaction: what she'd been waiting for.
That hesitation. That uncertainty. That was her big call to action. That was all she needed.
"But...." he started, clearly unsure where this was going.
She started at the top of her head, right along the sides of her face, tracing her neck and silhouetting the sides of her shapely self.
He stared. She continued. She'd only just begun.
6th check - even numbers. She hesitated briefly. She reminded herself of all he'd done, all he hadn't done. He never noticed her. He never noticed anything.
The 6th time was the last. He was completely enthralled now.
"Do you want me?" she asked. She already knew the answer. It was all she needed.
He stood, speechless, waiting for more, hoping, begging for more.
She reached into her bag and pulled out Joe's gun. It's about time someone did. It's about time he noticed.
Staring into his eyes, his eyes filled with confusion and defence, as she pointed the gun at his head. They held each other in a dead stare, his mouth slightly open. She held it there as long as she could; her arm started to tremble. It felt like hours.
"I'm not really married," she said again, decisively this time, as she withdrew the loaded pistol from his face.
"I'm not actually anything."
And Evelyn, the lovely lady that she was, knew he'd finally take notice as she shot that bullet right into her pretty head.
Prompt from Amanda.
My answered challenge from Sarah.